BLUEBOTTLES in their thousands landed on our beaches at the weekend and they managed to sting a number of unwary swimmers along the way.
Coffs Harbour City Council lifeguard co-ordinator Greg Hackfath said the marine stingers were normally swept in by on-shore winds at this time of year, particularly with easterly and north-easterly winds and to a lesser degree with south-easters.
“Thankfully they didn’t hit (swimmers) too hard,” said Mr Hackfath.
“You get them in particular bursts where they will sting half a dozen people but then you don’t see them for another hour.
“They aren’t life-threatening unless you have an allergy but they can hurt like crazy.”
The bluebottles were most prevalent on the northern beaches.
Meanwhile, Sawtell Surf Club crews raced into action on Saturday afternoon when two young kayakers were swept out to sea from the mouth of Bonville Creek on the outgoing tide.
“They lost their kayaks and had to swim for it but they got to the beach okay,” Mr Hackfath said.
“Surf club members had to go out and get their kayaks for them.”
The big swell that picked up on Sunday is expected to prevail along the Coffs Coast for most of the week and Mr Hackfath urged bathers to exercise extreme care.
“The best advice is to stay between the red and yellow flags,” he said.
“If you do get into trouble and you’re not a strong swimmer, stay calm, float with the current and raise your hand for help.
“Strong swimmers can obviously get themselves out of danger.”THE BEST TREATMENT
LIFEGUARDS say the best treatment for a bluebottle sting is to apply water as hot as you can stand it without burning yourself.
“You should try and bathe the affected area in the hot water. Immerse the limb in a bath in preference to a shower for the best results,” said Coffs Harbour City Council’s lifeguard co-ordinator Greg Hackfath.
“Failing that, the old Stingose does relieve the pain for some people.”
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